Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

Costa at home with Tassimo

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Last month I blogged about my new favourite kitchen appliance, which I would like to say was not a sponsored blog in any way. However, through the Tassimo UK Facebook page I was lucky enough to be selected to taste test the new Costa range of coffees. All you Tassimo lovers can now get your hands on Costa’s Americano, Latte and Cappuccino to drink at home. So here is my verdict……

The Americano is spot on, a great coffee to drink black or white and as always with the tassimo machine you can + or – on the strength to get it exactly how you want it. The flavour is all there, exactly as you would expect if you were buying it in Costa. It is a large size drink, which for me means “normal” as I tend to drink from big mugs!

The Cappuccino is again exactly as you would expect from Costa. With the milk pod and coffee pod to make the drink each pack makes 8 large drinks. Don’t however assume this is the same as a Costa large, it is a Tassimo large, again, a normal mug size, probably a medium if you were in Costa itself.

Next is the Latte, if you like a good Latte then here we have it, it’s an XL size, the only XL I have yet found with Tassimo, it’s smooth, it’s creamy, it’s the taste I love from a good Costa coffee. Yes this one is my favourite, although I am a Latte lover anyway I know I will always have these in my cupboard.

All in all these coffees taste like they have been picked up from Costa itself. Price wise they are on par with other t-discs for the system, which makes enjoying a Costa coffee a lot cheaper! You can get them online through Tassimo or at leading supermarkets, and you can purchase from Costa too. Have you tried them and what do you think?

November 19, 2012 Posted by | Home | , , | Leave a comment

A Coffee Lovers Dream

I’ve always loved coffee. When I met Mr K, our second date was a day in my local town and we had a few coffee stops, we both love a good coffee, and we both like the variety you get these days in coffee houses. Whenever we are out and about we always stop for coffee somewhere. Thing is though, it gets expensive always going out for coffee so I looked into coffee machines and decided it was time I invested in a good one!

I decided after reading countless reviews and comparing prices to go with the Tassimo T55 and I have never looked back. It is so easy and it is not just a sales line when it says “Perfect coffee every time” its true! Like I said I read countless reviews so if you want to know the technical stuff have a look elsewhere as I am going to tell you what I think is important about this machine rather than how many litres of water it holds and how much the average coffee costs!!

The first thing I love is that it’s not just a coffee machine, you can get T-Discs to make a variety of teas and hot chocolates too, and when I ordered T-Discs from tassimo they also sent me some t-disc blanks which you can use to make iced drinks, I haven’t done this yet though so won’t review that right now!! The varieties available are great, from Kenco and Twinning’s to Milka, Suchards, Jakobs and the new Costa range. If you love hot drinks, there will be something for you, although some varieties are only available online.

The water tank on this model includes a Brita water filter which for me is amazing. Our tap water is awful and to drink plain water I have to buy bottled, it’s ok for juice and I thought it was ok for tea and coffee, but how wrong I was! The difference it makes to hot drinks is astonishing really! It adds to the perfection of each and every cup, and how nice it is to have a cup of tea without the “scum” from the tap water floating on top! Ok the filters are not cheap, but each one lasts a month and there is an indicator on top of the machine to tell you when it needs replacing. You get one filter with the machine to start you off and I just bought a box of 6 filters for £16, which works out at less than £3 per month. Considering my machine makes from 1-10 drinks per day I’m definitely using it enough to warrant the cost of the filters!

Now if you are like me, quick and easy is best, I hate it when you get kitchen gadgets that are a pain in the neck to clean, but this is as easy as making a coffee. No really, you get a cleaning and descaling t-disc with it, and you just put it in and press the button and it does a cleaning cycle! All you need to do is wipe out the area where the t-disc sits and wash the removable cup stand! The cup stand itself comes off to put larger mugs under, or can be set higher for making espressos so you don’t get the mess of coffee splashes!

It really is so simple to use to, you put in a t-disc, which will only go in one way so you cant get it wrong, you close the lid, place a mug or cup on the stand and press the button! There are also + and – buttons so you can make your drink stronger or weaker to taste, the only down side is this alters the size of the drink. If you press +, this makes the drink weaker by adding more water and – makes it stronger by adding less water. I tend to + most drinks as I like a taller drink and that’s the right strength for my taste, but it was only by playing around that I have learnt that! I even let B make her own Hot Chocolate because it is so easy and safe, she is no where near the hot water that comes out and she loves that she can have a hot chocolate for bed without disturbing me when I am sorting out H.

So if you are a coffee lover and haven’t got one of these then I would recommend one without a doubt! As it’s that time of year maybe you should get writing to Santa!

October 19, 2012 Posted by | Home | , , , | Leave a comment

FurReal Snuggimals – Toy Review

So cute and small, you’ll want to adopt them all! FurReal Friends Snuggimals palm-sized pets are a handful of fun. Pet the adorable Snuggimals puppies on their backs and they’ll move their heads and wag their tails, ready for playtime! Snuggimals kitties love to have their tummies rubbed, and furry Snuggimals bunnies are comfiest when they cuddle into your palm. Stroke it’s back and watch the cute Snuggimals seal wiggle about in your hand. You can choose from more than 20 different Snuggimals pets, but it’s more fun with more than one!

These make ideal stocking fillers for the upcoming festivities, or even, at and RRP of £7.99, just as a treat for having a good week. The idea is simple enough, little furry animals which fit in your hand and when you stroke them they make noises. The recommended age for these is 4+ and when I asked B if she wanted to try them out she said she would love to. B is 7 though, and was a little disappointed that they didn’t do as much as she had expected them to do! However, H loved them and keeps stroking and talking to them as if they are real animals!! Now I personally would buy these for H even though she is only 2, but that’s got to be the parents choice and as such I wouldn’t buy them for friends children unless I knew they would be ok with it! I have to say though, they are very cute and soft and I can’t fault them at all for quality. Ideal for little girls who love animals!!

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , , , | 1 Comment

Stacking Tree Review

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at www.hellobabydirect.co.uk to review the Stacking Tree, it arrived last week and H hasn’t stopped playing with it since!

PlanToys Stacking Tree Wooden Baby Toy Preview

PlanToys Stacking Tree Wooden Baby Toy Preview 2

The stacking tree is made from rubber wood and consist of a trunk, attached to a sturdy base, with 8 branches of varying shades of green, and 4 different sizes. On first look on the web site it does conjure up the idea this is quite small, but standing 21.5cm tall it’s the perfect size for little hands. It is recommended for age 2 years plus, H is now 23 months and it is perfect for her level of ability. She loves to make different shapes, and also loves tipping it upside down when I have stacked it wrong!! I can also see scope for the play with the item to adjust as she develops, as a great aid to counting and learning about big and small. The wood has a very natural look and feel to it, while still being bright and appealing to young children. In fact at the moment this is most definitely one of H’s 1st choice toys when she goes to the toy chest.

This product is made by Plan Toys and this is what they say about themselves:

‘We create toys that inspire children’s imagination as well as promote their physical and intellectual development. We’re also proving that it is possible to maintain superior quality standards while steadfastly following a path of environmental and social responsibility.’

Retailing at just £11.99 through www.hellobabydirect.co.uk this is most definitely a highly recommended toy from me. It’s simple and straight to the point but keeps little minds and fingers active for hours! Why not go and take a look, they also have a vast range of other toys and all look just as great!

 

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

Warburtons Have Some New Arrivals!

I was recently contacted about trying out some new products from Warburtons, me being the snack-a-holic I am, jumped at the chance and I wasn’t disappointed.

snack-a-doodleThe first of the two products are called SnackADoodle, a wholegrain based snack. These are low calorie snack, and the best way I can describe them is a cross between rice crackers and crisp bread style products. I have to say I wasn’t blown away but that’s mainly because I’m not a big fan of this type of thing. They are however, satisfying, a bag is just the right size and whilst the cheese flavour ones are very cheesy, the chilli ones are really flavoursome. A great low calorie alternative for party nibbles and go great with dips. I personally wouldn’t buy these but that’s not because there is anything wrong with them, just not my thing!

 

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What does get my thumbs up and I will definitely be buying once released, are the ChippedyDoDaa pita based snacks. Imagine a pita bread, cut into triangles, flavoured and toasted and that’s what these are. Very filling, again the bags are exactly the right size. The sea salt and vinegar flavour are my favourite. Again these are great for a mid morning snack, lunch on the go or for nibbles when entertaining. What amazed me though is the fact that they actually tasted home made. 

 

So if your after an alternative to crisps, give these a go. They are both going to be available through Londis and Budgens stores and here’s hoping that eventually they will be available else where too!

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Product Reviews | , , | 2 Comments

Very Lazy Garlic Review

I recently received a free sample of Very Lazy Garlic to try and then review on here. Now I will be honest, I don’t cook with garlic normally although I love the taste, but as a single mum I tend to have worked out a “quick” version of my meals and I never find peeling and chopping garlic quick. I have tried the crushing with the side of the knife then chopping, I have tried just chopping, I have a garlic crusher and most of the clove ends up still in the crusher when I am done. So that’s why I don’t use garlic. And that is also why I thought this sounded like the sort of thing that would be handy to have in my fridge. I also thought that as I am probably in one of the categories this product is aimed at then I could write a valuable review.

I have tried substitutes for “real” garlic in the past, to be honest I have always opted for nothing rather than settling for alternatives. Garlic paste to me never adds the right taste and has a grainy texture. I had given up hope of finding a substitute and only included garlic when cooking for guests or on special occasions. I had seen Very Lazy Garlic but never really looked closely enough to see what it really was.

That HP Chap @ Flickr.com My sample arrived, well packaged and I opened to find the jar and was greeted by the wonderful smell of fresh garlic. My initial thoughts were that the jar had broken in transit so I checked it over and no, all was well and in tact. I was optimistic already! My 1st experiment was roasted carrots. Now I hate carrots, unless in a casserole or grated into a sauce, but on this particular day the only vegetables I had were carrots. So I decided to do roasted carrots and use the Very Lazy Garlic to add a bit of a twist. The garlic is finely chopped and in the jar along with white wine vinegar, which evaporates off with cooking. The jar states that 1 teaspoon is the equivalent of a clove of garlic so that is what I have worked to. The carrots were lovely. I would never have bothered had I needed to peel and chop an actual clove of garlic. The fact it is in the vinegar also makes it easier to distribute that the sticky feel of fresh garlic. It was a twist that I only thought of because this product was there.

The next day I made bolognaise, and where I would usually omit the garlic, I added the Very Lazy Garlic and  was very surprised. It tasted as if I had used fresh garlic. I could tell no difference at all. It was better that real garlic though, my fingers didn’t have that lingering garlic smell, the garlic crusher wasn’t a nightmare to get all the bits out of. It was so easy!

After using this twice, I am converted. I know I will always have a jar of this in my fridge now. It may be lazy but lives are so busy, with this in my fridge I no longer have to compromise on taste. In fact I am going to look out for the other Very Lazy products out there and will be giving them a try too! Have you tried it and what did you think?

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Food, Product Reviews | , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Book Addiction

I first read Twilight last year. Friends had told me to read it but the thought of Vampire fiction didn’t appeal. It’s not a genre I had ever read, or had any interest in but I bought the book with all good intentions of giving it a go. The book sat on the side in my bedroom. I moved house. The book came out of a box and sat in my living room. One night I remembered to take it to bed to start to read. Now this was strange, I hadn’t read a book in bed for years. The only time I read fiction was on holiday by the pool. This book would have to be something special to get me hooked.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of Twilight, where have you been? Even if you havn’t read it, I guarentee you will have heard others talk about it. Many of my friends, real and “virtual” online friends talk about it many times a day. It’s one of those books that triggers something inside, takes you back to your youth, makes you believe in fairy tales again.

What’s it all about? The story is written through the eyes of 17 year old Bella Swann who is moving home to live with her Dad in Forks. Bella hates Forks. It rains. It’s a small town. There are no decent shops. Her Dad Charlie is the Cheif of Police and everyone knows she is joining the school. The book is aimed at girls around Bella’s age, so reading this is a 30 year old mum of 2 I was expecting to be unable to relate to Bella. Surprisingly though, within minutes of reading I was remembering how it felt to be at school, to be the new girl. To wonder who everyone is. It is such an easy book to read.

Just when you think the book is just another teen high school book, enter The Cullen’s. Unknown to Bella, this is the local vegetarian Vampire family. From the moment she sees them, sat with food they don’t eat and not interacting with anyone else, Bella is fascinated in them, in particular Edward, who she learns is the only single memeber of the family.

This is a true tale of forbidden love. Of first love. Unearthing secrets that are rarely spoken of. It’s not just a Vampire book, you could take away the fact this a love stary between a human and an immortal, and it would still mean the same. It’s about the power of love. But don’t read this and think it’s just a love story. This is the 1st book of 4 in The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. This book introduces the main characters to us. We learn who Bella’s family is, meet the Forks community, and also meet some of the Quileute tribe. We learn alot about how the Cullen’s live and also enough to know that the love story we are there to witness will not have a smooth start. This book sets the perfect start point for what is to follow, giving us a bit of lust, a bit of action and leaves us wanting more.

My synopsis has by no means given the book justice. I don’t think I have yet to read a synopsis that does. But in my whole life I have read at school and since leaving school I had probably read about 20 books in 12 years. I read Harry Potter and was hooked, but I never got hooked to reading. It was a one off thing. Twilight on the other hand was more. A year after my vision of love had been blown apart, I truely believed in love again. I remembered what it was like to feel that 1st love for someone. It sparked a sense of “life goes on” in me. Since reading this book, I have read 18 more, I am never without a book on the go! I can say 100% that I am now  a book worm. Even after a night out I have to pick up my book before I go to sleep! It’s not a bad thing I know, but I have to admit it’s a shock. I have stuck to the vampire genre, its very popular at the moment and there is alot out there to choose from.

Twilight changed my life in a couple of ways, all good, but mainly I have found a new way to unwind and I believe in love again. What about you, what books have you read that have stuck with you and why?

For any of you who havn’t read this book I highly recommend it. Whoever you are, wherever you are in life, this book will spark something within you. At least you will get an easy flowing read to give you that warm feeling inside.

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Book Reviews | , , , , | 8 Comments